Almost 75% of financial institutions in US and UK reveal increase in cybercrime following COVID outbreak: report

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Almost three-quarters or 75% of financial institutions have reported an increase in cybercrime activity since the Covid-19 epidemic (around February 2020), according to a survey released by BAE systems.

The survey of 902 banking institutions and insurance providers, based in the United States and the United Kingdom, reveals that this recent increase in cybercrime is also having a significant monetary impact. More than half of survey respondents reported a dramatic increase in financial losses over the past year – with the average cost reaching $ 720,000 and rising steadily.

BAE Systems’ research and survey report noted that there are concerns about the ‘new-to-normal’ work-at-home model, with 42% of survey respondents stating that working remotely has made them less secure. than when working in an office environment. Just under half or about 50% also reported concerns about these issues, resulting in less visibility of potential holes in their computer network or infrastructure, and about 37% said their customers are now at increased risk of become victims of cybercrime or other fraudulent activity online.

In addition to these serious issues that can worsen, IT security professionals also face increasing pressure from shrinking budgets and layoffs of teams. The BAE Systems report further noted that on average, IT security, cybercrime, fraud and risk departments’ budgets were cut by around 25%, while 40% were forced to cut spending. for “critical” computer security technologies. More than a third or 33% have also reduced the total number of professionals working in the field of computer security in the past year.

BAE also surveyed over 2,000 consumers about cybercrime and found that over 25% said they had received an email hoax regarding the Coroanvirus pandemic, with 22% also claiming to be the target of a text or email. SMS which could have been fraudulent. Even when reimbursed, the average amount of funds allegedly stolen by cybercriminals was $ 1,174. For people who might not have reviewed their funds, the average money lost due to fraudulent activity was $ 743.

A considerable increase in online shopping during the COVID-19 crisis also led to an increase in cybercrime, the report noted while adding that more than 25% of those polled said they had bought something from a fraudulent website in the past year and never have received their products.

More than half of those polled believe it is the responsibility of banks to protect them, compared with around 40% saying it is their duty to protect their funds. More than half also said that banking institutions and credit card providers should consider offering more advice to customers on how to behave properly online in order to stay safe and avoid losses due to cybercrime.

Adrian nish, chief, cyber, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, declared:

“We are noticing a clear collaboration emerging between different groups of criminals across the broader landscape of serious and organized crime. Fraudsters and cybercriminals seek to exploit fear, uncertainty and change, and the pandemic has given them new opportunities to probe weaknesses they can monetize and new ways to cover up their business.

Nish added:

“Attackers develop increasingly advanced capabilities to target basic banking systems and become more aggressive, which impairs the ability of victims to respond to attacks. Cybercriminals responded quickly, adapting their approach to track down remote work security holes and attack vulnerable people. “



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